Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Which Madonna will make more this year?

Moneymaker Barry Diller said today, "Build the audience, and the money will come."

In the July 11 New Yorker, it was reported that the Met recently paid between forty-five and fifty million dollars for the 11x8-inch "Madonna and Child" by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

Curator Keith Christiansen claimed this would be the best picture ever recommended to the trustees since his arrival in 1977.

In 1963, the "Mona Lisa" was brought to the Met for a month and more than one million visitors showed up to endure long lines. The eyes of the "Madonna" have yet to follow its viewers and, in turn, have not drawn lines of floral-printed wearing, money-spending gawkers. But, the Curator believes they will.

With audience, comes money. Phish proved it. Pearl Jam proves it. Google proves it. Krispy Kreme proves it - or at least they did for a little while.

This post is an ode to seldom_seen for forcing the thought after the art.


At 10:23 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Well, for the museum to get mobs to see this painting I would think the great unwashed would have to have the image shoved into their face. They'd have to become familiar with it.

They'd need the picture on T-shirts. They'd need action figures in each McDonald's Happy Meal. They'd at least need a Duccio di Buoninsegna bio-pic starring Ed Harris or a slasher movie with a killer running around in a di Buoninsegna Madonna mask.

I'm not sure, but I think the business types call that branding. I don't know, though, because I only speak English, not trendy business slang.

The "Mona Lisa" has become a Gabor sister of the art world, famous for being famous. Most people go to see the art objects or famous buildings or tourist sites they already know about.

It's the same way with bands. Many people want to go out and hear cover bands in order to try and reproduce or approximate a musical experience they're already familiar with, rather than taking a chance on something new. And I've known many people who would rather try to re-enact a scene from a favorite movie than have original experiences.

But I ramble. My body calls out for sleep, if only my conscience would allow it....

At 10:25 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Well...if Barry Diller said it, it must be true.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Phish (the JV team, but that's another discussion). Pearl Jam (umm...OK; not sure of that reference). Google (yup). Krispy Kreme (I miss the local donut shop down the street from where I grew up...goddamned chain-store zombies!). But enquiring minds want to know:

Does Citysearch prove it?

At 10:37 AM, Blogger princessmalin said...

I'm wondering if the curator read "Blink"? I found the book to be insanely irritating and over-the-top, mainly because Gladwell was too chicken to actually state the point he was trying to make. But, ironically enough, the opening chapter is eerily relevant. Let's only hope Gladwell is as crazy as I think he is.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

To the CS question: Yes.

To the Pearl Jam question: They haven't done videos in years. In recent years, you haven't seen them on the charts for individual albums - yet they continue to sell more live albums than most any other band. They've been together for 14 years. They recently signed to one of those most-talked-about labels, J records (Clive Davis's new gig). Their concerts continue to sell out good-sized venues, and later this year they will be opening for the Stones.

And it is due in great part to their large, loyal audience.


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